It’s the time of year to harvest sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and for me to share them with local gardeners.
I’ll give you some for free, but there’s one catch. You have to pick them up or get someone you know to pick them up. I don’t want to have to mail them.
I’m in the Eggertsville area of Amherst. If you don’t get out this way, you probably have a neighbor or cousin or coworker who does.
If you’d like some sunchokes, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can arrange for a time for you to pick them up.
Yes, you can plant sunchokes now. I’ll give you the roots. Get them in before the ground freezes.
I got my first sunchoke at a plant exchange several years ago and have enjoyed growing it ever since.
It’s a native plant, so it’s easy to maintain. I like easy.
In spring, you see nothing, but by September, the plants are 10 feet tall. They get little yellow flowers at the top.
You can eat the root– It tastes like a nutty potato. You can eat it raw or cook it. We’ve sauteed them with onion and garlic. There are lots of recipes online.
It’s a very cool plant in so many ways, but I will offer this one warning: It spreads easily. Very easily. Even if you aim to harvest all the roots, you’ll miss some and have sunchokes popping up where you didn’t want them.
I recommend growing them in containers. See the video I did last year. I had worried that I had done something wrong to the plants in one particular container, but the same thing happened this year to the plants in that container, so I think it was just a bad container. That pot seems to dry out very quickly and the poor plants kept wilting. (The plants in the ground never wilted, which is one advantage to planting them in the ground.)
If you’d like to try some sunchokes, email me at email@example.com. If you grew them in previous years, please leave a comment and let us know how they worked out for you. And if you have a favorite way to prepare them, please let us know that, too.